Police warning: Two teenagers hospitalised after exposure to anxiety drug in Potters Bar
PUBLISHED: 15:11 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:23 18 May 2018
Two teenage boys have been taken to hospital after suffering side effects from an anxiety drug in Potters Bar.
Police have said that following the suspected use of Xanax – a prescription drug which is illegal to buy in this country – a 15-year-old boy was taken to hospital in April after becoming ill at home.
A 14-year-old was also rushed to hospital after collapsing in a youth club in March – and two more young people received treatment after being in contact with the drug in Potters Bar.
Hertsmere Neighbourhood Inspector Pete Edwards said: “Although it is not believed to be a widespread problem at the moment, there have been a few isolated reports of suspected Xanax use recently in the town.
“We are working with parents and schools to try and make sure no other children suffer the effects of the antidepressant, which is illegal to buy in this country.”
Jordan Ricketts, aged 21, of Wayside in Potters Bar was arrested and charged in connection with possession of Xanax and cannabis.
He pleaded guilty at court yesterday (Tuesday, May 15) and was given a £120 fine and ordered to pay £85 costs and the drugs were confiscated.
Another man aged 25 from Borehamwood was arrested for being unfit to drive because he was believed to be under the influence of Xanax after his moped collided with another motor vehicle in Shenley Road last week (May 8).
He is currently under investigation.
Insp Edwards said: “The drug is debilitating, making the user sleepy with zombie-like effects or blackouts, making young people even more vulnerable.
“Please talk to your children about drugs and call us on 101 if you have any information about who may be supplying these drugs.”
Xanax is a prescription only medicine called Alprazolam, prescribed for anxiety and panic attacks. However, it is not available over the counter in this country.
It is a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 but can been obtained illegally from the internet.
A police spokeswoman warned that if your child is caught with the drug, they could be arrested and dealt with in court.
Anyone with any information about the drug being used or supplied can report it to police on 101 or online at www.herts.police.uk/report. You can also share your information anonymously with the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111.